Addressing Chronic Disease in our Community
Obesity is a significant concern in our society because it can lead to other chronic diseases and illnesses. Improvement of individual health behaviors, reduction in modifiable risk factors, and access to clinical care are key factors in addressing chronic disease issues, with first priority given to individuals and families below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
The impact of chronic disease can be measured in number of deaths, as well as disability figures, pain and distress experienced by individuals, and the amount of extensive medical care needed. Besides affecting personal lives, chronic diseases also affects the economy. Direct costs to the Medicaid system in 2010 totaled about $1.15 billion for Wisconsin, which was roughly 4% of the total state budget. This figure does not include costs to the private sector, which would make the total considerably higher. A second effect is through indirect costs, most notably lost productivity and lost wages because of a person’s inability to work.
By determining the most significant barriers to financial stability that our population faces, the Financial Stability Partnership aims to apply concentrated efforts to removing these barriers through specific strategies.
A coordinated and systemic prevention approach, complemented by awareness and education, is needed that addresses factors related to promotion of healthy behaviors and the early detection and diagnosis of disease. Such a plan must also support people in all age groups and eliminate any existing disparities which disadvantage individuals in any way. Prevention must become a priority and a strategy at the forefront in order to impact every person in this country.
Partners of the Community Health Initiative are achieving these goals through:
- Mentoring programs for youths facing adversity to help them avoid risky behaviors and make healthier decisions,
- Youth programs that focus on nutrition and physical fitness to control and prevent obesity,
- Aerobic and strength-training programs that also focus on building a sense of community,
- Programs for pre-diabetic adults where a trained lifestyle coach works with individuals to lose weight and increase physical activity,
- Customized physical activity programs for adult cancer survivors to build muscle mass/strength, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability,
- Tested and proven programs for improving the health and well-being of individuals 50 and over through education, skills, and step-by-step processes for creating an active lifestyle.
Community Health Initiative works with its collaborative partners to bring education and programs to the public at all ages to maintain health and well-being, reduce overall health risks, and prevent instances of chronic disease.
FOCUS AREAS: (Select one to learn more)